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Would you be able to e-mail me a copy of your discipline plan?
Out of school suspension is a short term fix and does not help the at risk student in the long term. I am on a school board as well as an educator and we have eliminated out of school suspensions. We now have an in-school resource center which combines academics, counseling and parenting support for the student/family while he/she "serves" out the infraction. This is working much better! And yes, an element of restorative justice is part of the program. The key is educating the teachers to effectively manage and deal with troubled students. Sending kids to the office for forgetting materials, or making an inappropriate comment here and there does more harm than good. Unfortunately some teachers are stuck in old habits and policies that have not kept up with societal changes.
i dont believe that my school (middleton high) dose a good job. many students fight but just get suspended for 5-10 days. its not effective because when they return they are back at it again.
You be the judge:
I have 5 years of experience working with Alternative Education in a very poor urban setting.
I have 5 years of experience working with Adult Education which is a step up from alternative education.
I now face a population of 7th and 8th graders that make the above mentioned clients look like alter boys. Since September we have had three teachers resign and one just collapsed this past Friday.
What’s wrong with this place?????????????
There are many management tools for classrooms. Discipline does not mean punishment. You saw this student behaving poorly and you pulled him out to stop the behavior. That's a good thing. Then you thought about it and did just the right thing for this student by giving him a role in the class process. This doesn't always work, but when it does, its beautiful. Next time, I bet you will come to this strategy sooner. Giving yourself time to assess the situation is a good thing. Some veteran teachers seem to be able to react to these situations instinctively, but, believe me, it is just experience.
At our middle school we have a system in place where behavior issues are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner. However, we still employ OSS (out-of-school suspension) as a deterrent to gross misbehavior. I've become increasingly convinced that exclusion from school as a punishment is simply not an effective strategy to develop positive behavior in children. In fact, many students (mostly boys) are delighted with the vacation from the heinous duty of school.
I've been studying an alternative model,Restorative Justice, a program which has evolved out of the juvenile justice system. The method is founded on the principle that those who demonstrate anti-social behaviors must, by all rights, make just amends for their offense in order for 'justice' to be 'restored' for the common good. The program involves multi-tiered intervention involving teachers, guidance counselors, family members, even friends whereby the offender learns (with guidance and support) why h/her behavior was wrong and how to make it right AND a complementary component that supports the victim.
This concept intrigues me in its student-centered approach. Have any of you had experience with this model and could offer some resources/strategies for implementation at the school level?
Natalie, what you did clearly seems to have worked, so in this case, it was the right thing to do. What was right about it? You acted promptly, you separated bully and victims, and you treated the child with respect. That the child apologized to you shows he reflected on his behavior. What might have happened differently? Schools need a clear policy that all staff members follow when bullying takes place. It's something that should be communicated to everyone in the building and held to very closely. A message needs to be sent loud and clear and consistently that bullying is not tolerated in this school and that the adults in the school will make sure students are safe. That said, the one thing that could have improved the outcome of what you did, and something that should be part of every response to bullying, is retribution. That is, the boy should not only have apologized to you, but also to all those children that he mistreated. Some feel that bullies should have go even farther, and "overcorrect" to compensate those they victimized. It's not an easy situation at all, and you certainly can look back and feel positively about how you responded.
Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab
Spiral Notebook blogger (Edutopia.org)
hi all, im a uni student doing my degree in teaching. i was at my project partnership school and was takin 14 grade 6 students teaching them soccer. they wanted to play a game so i allowed it. One boy in particular after 20 minutes of playing started teasing other players calling them 'four eyes, your ugly and you can't play soccer'. i thought this was a basic grade 6 bullying technique so i had the child stand next to me as his punishment. but after 5 minutes of standing next to me he began to get bored so i allowed him to be the umpire and help me out. this was positive due to the child explaining to other students what they were doing wrong and making sure he was heard when there was contact, the ball went out etc. So my question is what discplinary actions would have been best suited/needed for this child. At the end of the lesson, he came up to me and apologised so it makes me wonder what consequences should i have used for his behaviour.
does sitting children down in time out or not letting them play the sport, does this help their behaviour/attitude and if so why do you think it does. Thank you
Our school-wide discipline program involves recognizing positive behaviors much more than the negative ones. However, we do have a plan in place and the students know exactly what will happen when a referral is written. The students know that the administrator will open the student handbook, look up the offense and follow the handbook. They know that there is no arbitrary punishment that everything is set out in writing. This has been working in our school for the past year and referrals are down over 50% from years past.
Your comments about the Minneapolis Public Schools is tragically the truth.
The School District seems to be caught in web, but refuses to use the one weapon that would clearly free them of the entangled mess. The discipline policies are inconsistently enforced, because each policy is subject to interpretation. When any rule or policy can be demonstrated to be "flexible", then the District opens itself up to costly litigation. Whether that is the the State Department of Education, the NAACP or disgruntled parents, the fines that have been levied on the District have had a significant impact on the ability of District to conduct the business of education.
To give you an example. When is a punch, not a punch? If a closed hand goes forward in the direction of another student, then do I get to say it was a punch? Our District continues to interpret the intent based on circumstantial, situational or heresay evidence. Rarely does it wind up as simple as saying to the student, "that was unacceptable." We do not have a consistent policy that asks for the student(s) involved to reflect on what happened and how to make appropriate restitution. In most cases, we do not keep a record. Most of our administrators could not pull up a simple file that serves as a record of the student's behavior. Lack of documentation makes the District extremely vulnerable to charges of discrimination.
I would also add that our District parrots an almost trite slogan. "All students can learn" The disparity and inequality of student achievement and preparation have lead to huge differences between students in my class.
Sadly, the most disruptive are the ones with the greatest educational challenges. I need to teach things like the Quadratic or Manifest Destiny. These two random subjects have less connection to a student who does not have the basis for even beginning to comprehend. Imagine these two subjects back to back for two hours. The Disney channel or sleeping in have a very certain, immediate and exact appeal to the prospect of an education. Anyone who argues that I shouldn't teach these subjects is not looking at the standards. Anyone who believes All students can learn, should appreciate that plunking a kid into the middle of museum or a library does not mean that learning will occur.